N.C. A&T to Kick Off 2022-23 Chancellor’s Speaker Series with Actress Tracee Ellis Ross

By Tonya Dixon / 09/16/2022

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Sept. 16, 2022) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University will kick-off the 2022-23 edition of the Chancellor’s Speaker Series in a big way, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 6 p.m., in Harrison Auditorium. The university will welcome actor, director and producer Tracee Ellis Ross, along with moderator, 1998 alumna Dr. Nicole Rankins for an engaging discussion, “Empowered: A Conversation About Women’s Rights.”

Aligning with many current and popular mainstream topics, the evening conversation will focus on health and welfare; representation and success; and self-empowerment. The speaker series is yet another platform and opportunity for the university to lead and cultivate an intellectual climate that encourages the creative exchange of ideas and raises the quality of the professional environment.

Most widely known for her roles as Joan in the hit series “Girlfriends,” and as Rainbow Johnson on ABC’s award winning comedy series “Black-ish” and its spin-off series “Mixed-ish,” Ross never shies away from using her voice and vast social influence as an advocate for joy, self acceptance, inclusivity and equity. She is a co-founding signatory of the Time’s Up movement. An advocate for freedom, Ross has joined forces with the Essie Justice Group to end mass incarceration and the toll it has taken on women and families.

Ross has received numerous individual accolades and awards including the Golden Globe Award, numerous NAACP Image Awards and special honors by Women in Film with the 2017 “Lucy Award for Excellence in Television,” and during the 2016 ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon with the “Fierce and Fearless” award.

She maintains numerous television, short film, feature film and theatre credits, including “Portlandia,” “Private Practice,” “CSI,” “Hanging Up,” “The High Note,” “Love, Loss, and What I Wore” and many more. In September 2019, Ross launched a haircare line, Pattern, “designed for every individual on the curly, coily and tightly-textured spectrum.”

Rankins is a board-certified practicing OB/GYN and mom of two who empowers first-time moms to feel calm, confident and empowered for pregnancy and birth. Thoughout her career, she has helped birth more than 1,000 babies.

Through her popular podcast, “All About Pregnancy & Birth,” which has been downloaded over 1.25 million times, Rankins has contributed to the demystification of pregnancy and birth for countless women. She has served thousands of moms-to-be through her online birth plan class, “Make a Birth Plan the RIGHT Way.”

The speaker series is free and open to the public. Tickets will be available on a first come, first served basis at the University Ticket Office (Brown Hall), beginning Wednesday, Sept. 21.  

Members of the media should contact Jackie Torok, university director of media relations via email at jtorok@ncat.edu.

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